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How Lectron's Vortex Plug Allows EV owners to Use the Tesla Supercharger Network

Original Post Date: June 20, 2024
Source: Torque News
Read the full article here

We overview the Lectron Vortex Plug, which allows non-Tesla owners to connect their CCS-equipped vehicle to the Tesla Supercharger.

An exciting transformation of the public DC fast charging network is taking place right now in America. Tesla has opened up its Supercharger network to other brands’ vehicles. The tricky part is that Tesla uses its own NACS standard, and every other brand used a different standard. The bulk of those brands used the CCS standard. In order to use the Supercharger network, owners of the other brands require an adapter. 

Lectron is a leader in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and was among the first to create an adapter for this use. It is called the Vortex Plug. The adapter retails for about $249 and can be purchased at major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Torque News reached out to Lectron’s founder, Christopher Maiwald, to discuss this new charger and its importance to those who own a non-Tesla who wish to use the Supercharger network. Our interview with Mr. Maiwald, identified as CM, follows.

TN - Can you tell us why Lectron is involved in making adapters? Help our readers understand the background on the transition underway from CCS to NACS.

CM - Lectron is committed to offering versatile charging solutions for 100% of EV drivers. With the industry shift toward the North American Charging Standard (NACS), there’s a growing need for adapters that bridge these standards, enabling non-Tesla EVs to access Tesla’s Supercharger infrastructure. The Vortex Plug has been designed to facilitate this transition, ensuring all EV owners can charge seamlessly across different networks using their existing vehicles.

TN - Can you tell us about the VORTEX Plug and its key features? What makes this NACS to CCS1 Adapter unique in the market?

CM - The Vortex Plug is a NACS to CCS1 adapter that unlocks access to over 12,000 Tesla Superchargers for non-Tesla EV owners. It enables seamless use of Tesla’s V3 and above Supercharger network, providing up to 150 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Our adapter makes high-speed charging accessible to non-Tesla EVs, enhancing charging options and reducing range anxiety and compatibility concerns for drivers.

TN - What was the inspiration behind the development of the VORTEX Plug? Can you share some insights into the research and development process?

CM - Once automakers began adopting the North American Charging Standard (NACS), we developed the Vortex Plug, a NACS to CCS1 adapter, to align with our commitment to serve the entire EV market. Our engineering and design teams collaborated closely with automakers and to ensure that the Vortex Plug delivers unmatched performance and compatibility while adhering to the highest industry standards.

TN - How does the VORTEX Plug address the needs of electric vehicle owners and the broader EV charging infrastructure? What gaps in the market does it fill?

CM - The Vortex Plug allows EV owners to use Tesla Superchargers without needing vehicle upgrades and eliminates long waits for automaker-provided adapters. It also supports pre-owned EV owners, who aren't eligible for complimentary adapters, granting them access to Tesla’s previously exclusive network of DC fast chargers.

TN - Which brands of vehicles can use this adapter right now, and which will be next?

CM - The Vortex Plug is compatible with any EV that has been granted access to the Supercharger network. Currently, Ford and Rivian have access, with more automakers expected to gain access throughout 2024 and 2025. We recommend that EV owners stay informed through our newsletter and their automaker’s press releases for updates on Supercharger access.

TN - What are the technical specifications of the VORTEX Plug? How does it ensure compatibility and seamless integration with different EV models and charging stations?

CM - The Vortex Plug is rated for 500 amps and 1,000 volts. It’s engineered to connect a Tesla Supercharger coupler to a CCS1 charging port seamlessly, ensuring compatibility as if the adapter isn’t even there. Our design ensures smooth integration with current EV brands that have Supercharger access and those expected to gain access in the future

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TN - Safety is a major concern for EV owners. How has Lectron ensured the VORTEX Plug meets the highest safety standards? Can you talk about its durability and lifespan?

CM - Our engineering and design teams have collaborated closely with UL to ensure the Vortex Plug adheres to UL 2252 guidelines, a standard specifically introduced for NACS to CCS adapters. It has undergone rigorous testing for electrical safety, thermal management, and durability. The Vortex Plug will be UL listed once UL 2252 is officially published. Constructed with premium materials inside and out, it features a reinforced body and durable safety latches designed for heavy usage, ensuring a long lifespan and reliable performance.

TN - As the CEO, what is your vision for Lectron in the next five years? How does the launch of the VORTEX Plug fit into your broader strategic goals?

CM - Our mission is to continue to be a leader in providing comprehensive charging solutions for all EV drivers, regardless of the charging standard. The Vortex Plug is central to this strategy, enhancing compatibility across standards and improving charging accessibility for all EV owners.

Alongside our best-selling products, we are launching a new line of WiFi-connected smart chargers for both NACS Tesla and non-Tesla J1772 EVs. These chargers will seamlessly integrate with the Lectron app, offering features like remote operation, scheduling, and real-time monitoring for greater control and convenience.

Looking ahead, we’re focusing our R&D on energy storage and mobile charging solutions. We are excited about these innovations and remain dedicated to expanding our product line to meet the evolving needs of the EV market.

Torque News wishes to thank Christopher Maiwald for taking the time to provide this detailed overview of the Vortex Plug NACS to CCS adapter. If you have used the product, please share your impressions in our comments section below. 

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